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Collard Greens and Bacon-Cheddar Cornbread

Courtesy Moriah Brooke

Chef notes

My momma's collard greens recipe has been a staple on my family table ever since I could remember. Whether at a cookout, birthday party or a simple family dinner, a pot of greens was sure to be present. Now, I'm finally getting around to making them in my own kitchen with the encouragement and advice from my mom on video call. These greens wouldn't be complete without a hearty slice of cornbread and a little bit of soul. I'm adding a smoky and spicy twist to my mom's cornbread recipe with bacon and cheddar.

Technique tip: Make your life easier by pouring the cornbread batter into muffin tins to avoid the need for cutting. You can use different size muffin tins to create different portion sizes.


Collard Greens
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 bunches collard greens (about 2 pounds), cleaned and chopped
  • 1½-2 pounds smoked turkey (legs, wings or neck)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-12 cups water
Bacon-Cheddar Cornbread
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can creamed corn
  • cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
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For the collard greens:


Place a large 8-quart pot over medium heat and add the oil. Once the pan is hot and the oil begins to sizzle, add in the yellow onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.


Now, add in the chopped collard greens, smoked turkey and apple cider vinegar. Season lightly with kosher salt and ground black pepper, and cover the collard greens with 10 to 12 cups of water.


Bring to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Once finished cooking, remove from heat. Discard the smoked turkey bones and shred the meat using a fork.

For the bacon-cheddar cornbread:


Preheat the oven to 375 F.


Add chopped bacon into a large saucepan, then place over medium heat. Cook the bacon pieces for five minutes, then add in the jalapeño and garlic. Once the bacon fat has rendered and it is crispy, pour everything into a heatproof bowl.


In the same pan, add in the butter and melt. Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, eggs, honey, buttermilk, creamed corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Then stir in the bacon and melted butter to make the batter.


Grease a 9- by 9-inch baking dish or medium-sized cast-iron pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the cornbread batter and evenly sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on the top.


Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is completely cooked.